Toyota Yaris S
Base price: $13,945
Fuel cost: $7440
Cost of ownership: $21,785
The Yaris is able to win the cost-of-ownership contest by carrying below-average costs in nearly every category from depreciation to financing to fuel. Achieving 29 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway makes it the most fuel-efficient car in the test after the Prius.
The Yaris can be a bit of a bore behind the wheel, combining a lackadaisical engine and drab interior. Opting for the manual transmission will help to keep you interested. By adding a five-door hatchback model for 2009, Toyota has established a trio of Yarises to offer consumers whatever body style fits their lifestyle. Owning a Yaris for five years will save you about $1300 over a Prius. While hybrids may be a smart way to tackle high gas prices, Toyota itself has proven that they're not the cheapest way to drive.